FG Seeks $500M World Bank Loan for Rural Roads and Agricultural Marketing Development

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The Federal Government of Nigeria is pursuing a $500 million loan from the World Bank to enhance rural roads and agricultural marketing. This funding is part of the Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Scale-Up (RAAMP-SU) and aims to improve connectivity in rural areas, where 92 million people currently lack access to good roads. The initiative, detailed in the Resettlement Policy Framework by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, highlights the need to expand and upgrade the rural road network to benefit economically disadvantaged populations.

Nigeria’s road network includes approximately 194,000 kilometers, yet the rural accessibility index is only 25.5%, meaning many rural inhabitants are disconnected from all-weather roads. The total RAAMP-SU project cost is estimated at $600 million, with the World Bank expected to provide 83.33% of the funding. This is a significant increase from the initial $280 million commitment for the parent project. The project will focus on three key components: Improvement of Resilient Rural Access ($387 million), Climate Resilient Asset Management ($158 million), and Institutional Strengthening and Project Management ($55 million).

States participating in the project must establish fully functional Road Funds and Road Agencies, complete with boards and staff, and allocate administrative costs in their budgets. Additionally, funds will be distributed competitively among states based on criteria such as socioeconomic impact, project readiness, and commitment to infrastructure maintenance. The project also includes provisions for resettlement and compensation to ensure affected persons are supported before any displacement occurs. RAAMP-SU aims to boost rural access, climate resilience, and agricultural potential, ultimately improving livelihoods in agrarian communities. The World Bank board is expected to approve the loan on November 28, 2024.

Source: Punch

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